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Hi all,

I'm a newbie, I busted up an ankle in June '99, had surgery in Dec. '99 and am scheduled for more in Jan. 01. I have been on opiates since Nov. '99. I have just seen a pain specialist who upped my codeine contin to 300 mg. 2/day, with Statex morphine for breakthrough pain. I have started getting panic attacks that scare the hell out of me, I believe it is codeine related as I have had bad reactions in the past to codeine and percocet, when used in elevated dosages. I have cut the contin to 150 mg. 2/day and used the Statex as prescribed. I am experiencing some withdrawal, headache and yawning, don't need as much Aci-Lac. Anyone else had this happen?

Prior to this accident I was drug and alcohol free for 12 years and I am really trying to avoid an active addiction again; a physical dependence is a different problem with a different solution <IMO>. There have been times when an NA meeting would be nice, but I do not feel that open meetings are an appropriate forum for my situation. Fortunately, I have friends in program who have been in similar situations and they have mentioned this site as a resource.

Thanks,

Dave
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Try Ultram,(Tramodol) it's a synthetic narcotic like drug but not on the narcotic control list and it does not produce those irritating side effects that codiene and percocet does. For me it actually kills the pain better too. Your general practioner will be much happier if you ask for that then for the supposed stronger stuff!

Oh. it does have some mood elevating effects too so it is somewhat addicting.
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I'm not sure what your question is but it sounds like you know about addiction.  You have been taking some pretty potent opioids for a while and it sounds like you are indeed having withdrawal symptoms.  Yawning always started first with me, then utter panic followed shortly.  Even if you just think you may have a problem, then you have a problem.  We tend to downplay our addiction, even to doctors!  But they are well aware of our ways.  

Why do you think that NA meetings are inappropriate forums to discuss your problems?  It's good that you have friends in the program, though.  My friends have always been more than willing to help me with my addictions and life in general.  It's a key part of the whole program, helping others.  Good luck and I hope to hear back from you.  J.B.
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At the risk of sounding elitist, I do not believe that a newcomer to NA will be able to understand 'supervised medical use'. I also wish to avoid feeling as if I must justify or explain my position to a zealot who quite frankly has not been where I am. Pain itself is mood altering. If the pain is turning me into someone I do not want to be and prescribed medication from a doctor trained to deal with people in my situation can allow me to stay true to myself, I will take medication. Any doctor that I have seen is aware of my addictive history. All my painkillers come from 1 doctor and past a certain point that doctor is a specialist. All my meds are known to my primary care physician, additionally, everything goes through 1 pharmacy where they also know my history. Program is a journey of self improvement not martyrdom.

I am currently seeing a pain specialist who has treated recovering addicts. We have discussed psychologically generated pain, organically based pain, and the combination of the two. My pain doctor believes that due to the fragments floating in my ankle, that I have predominantly organic pain. At the present time it is being treated as such.

When the pain doctor raised my codeine prescription we discussed paradoxical reactions, as I haave had bad reactions to oxycodone. This seems to be part of my problem right now. I have stopped the codeine contin on this doctor's advice and will just take Statex for a week, I will then review the results with the doctor and we will proceed accordingly. The withdrawal symptoms I seem to be experiencing are from cutting out the codeine.

Hopefully surgery in January will alleviate the problem. This is my second surgery however, and if the pain persists the doctor will do a full pain work-up to determine whether or not the pain is still organic in nature or chronic.

Dave

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compared to most of us who participate in this forum, you seem to have the benefit of thorough, competent medical care to get you through all of this. You've been frank with your MD's about the addiction history and concerns, they seem willing to try different combos of drugs to treat you --- man, I wish I had half the help you've got. Perhaps you just need a mild dose of an anti-anxiety drug like Xanax on a short term basis to get you through, with a end game plan that includes a slow, comfortable detox when you don't need the pai relief. Anxiety can come from a lot of sources, perhaps the memory of something in your addiction experience is haunting you. Maybe you just need some people to talk to who have has similar experiences -- like AA (if you don't like NA). What could it hurt?
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Who said anything about martyrdom in the program of NA?  Most of us believe that self improvement is achieved through working the twelve steps in the order that they are written.  The only martyrdom that I know of is when people follow their "own" program to the point of killing themselves.
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The 12 step programs seem to be good ones especially where narcotics are concerned. Unfortunately over here the A.A. group is sadly lacking many people with many years of sobriety or experience and the same people just repeat the same ole stuff every day about gratefull to be sober and the like. It's more like a rah-rah meeting.

I go to a drug and alcohol prgram as well as A.A. and have found it more effective with group counseling that give feedback and also good counseling from trained staff.

All the A.A.er'seem to do is sit around every night obsessing over alcohol. I never see them study the 12 steps, I guess they figure that's for the sponsor to do individually. I don't even crave alcohol anymore so I'd rather do something more fun like work on my house or other hobbies.

I have to come to some decision about this seizure disorder though because now I am developing symptoms of narcolepsy too and it is becoming dangerous to drive and difficult to work. I know I take alot of Klonopin for the seizures but so far that is ruled out as I tried both taking and not taking it before these morning spells and it seems to make no difference. The lighting is a factor. I get checked by a Neurologist this coming week and a sleep specialist in January. So I hope to find some answers. All of those partial status seizures may have caused some brain damage. That's all I can think would bring it on all of the sudden.


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Any of the 12 step programs are great, you get out of them what you put in. Personally I owe my life to NA. After detox NA kept me clean and gave me the tools to stay clean and grow. One of the first things I learned is that 12 step programs may be perfect in their theory. However, the people that make them up are not (nor would I want them to be). I have the right to share what I choose to the depth I choose with people of my choice. Some things I will discuss fully in an open meeting, some things I will discuss only with friends that I trust. Program has taught me that it is okay to trust and that I only suffer when I keep things to myself.

Having said all that, I reiterate that I do not believe an open meeting is the place to discuss the supervised use of prescribed medication. Newcomers do not need to hear that there is such a thing as supervised use, nor wrestle with the concept. Please note I am not saying controlled use; I place my life in the hands of my doctors, and, trust that by being open with them that together we can keep me from spiralling into an active addiction.

I have friends in program that I have discuss it with, I have people at the treatment centre I went to that I discuss it with, and, I am totally open with my doctors. I wish that there were a way to determine how much pain is organic and how much is my disease talking to me, there is not. All I can do is raise the issue periodically and know that when it no longer troubles me that I am truly in danger.

Study and application of the steps has allowed me to change my life. I believe that if I turn my will and my life over to my higher power he will give me what I need. In this case I believe that it is a medical team that is truly 1st rate, I have one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in the region, likewise my pain doctor is one of the best physiatrists in Canada, my family physician co-ordinates it all and can fit me into his schedule with in a couple of days, faster if it is an emergency. These people were put in my path for a reason, I choose to be honest with them because I believe it is the only way to get the help I need. My friends are there for me and make suggestions and give me insights that I do not always want to agree with, but again, thanks to program I can trust these people enough to both open up to them and give credence to what they say. If what I have written previously has given an impression contrary to this I apologise and hope that this sets the record straight (no pun intended).

Dave
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The 12 step programs seem to be good ones especially where narcotics are concerned. Unfortunately over here the A.A. group is sadly lacking many people with many years of sobriety or experience and the same people just repeat the same ole stuff every day about gratefull to be sober and the like. It's more like a rah-rah meeting.

I go to a drug and alcohol prgram as well as A.A. and have found it more effective with group counseling that give feedback and also good counseling from trained staff.

All the A.A.er'seem to do is sit around every night obsessing over alcohol. I never see them study the 12 steps, I guess they figure that's for the sponsor to do individually. I don't even crave alcohol anymore so I'd rather do something more fun like work on my house or other hobbies.

I have to come to some decision about this seizure disorder though because now I am developing symptoms of narcolepsy too and it is becoming dangerous to drive and difficult to work. I know I take alot of Klonopin for the seizures but so far that is ruled out as I tried both taking and not taking it before these morning spells and it seems to make no difference. The lighting is a factor. I get checked by a Neurologist this coming week and a sleep specialist in January. So I hope to find some answers. All of those partial status seizures may have caused some brain damage. That's all I can think would bring it on all of the sudden.


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Hi all!
Sorry to bust in on a thread, but I wanted to ask a favor of you.  Please say a prayer for my family and I this week.  

I go for sentencing and am scared to death.  I've been dealing with it by not thinking about it at all, but that's getting harder to do as the date nears.  I wish so much I had found this site before I got into so much trouble - I bet you all could have helped talk me out of forging the scrips....

Thats done though, and I did it.  I am hoping and praying that the judge gives me probation.  I just cannot imagine being locked up and all that would mean to everyone that matters to me.  I have 3 kids, age 6 and under, that I live for...literally.  Were they not here, I would have checked out a long time ago.  

I am SO scared they will not have me to support them....my wife would lose our home, her car/van, health insurance, etc. etc. etc.   Then there's this huge monkey back on my back.  Worrying about them while going cold turkey from 1600+mg a day is more than I could handle.  I don't have any experience in this area, I've never been in a bit of trouble before, but I doubt anyone in prison would care or provide medical help either.

My hope is that the judge has compassion.  The prosecutor and cops are insisting I had to be selling the pills, but since I wasnt, they have no evidence.  I don;t understand why they have to be like this - what I did was wrong, but for them to insist I was a dealer is wrong too.  

I hope anyone who is thinking about forging a scrip or breaking a law to get their pain pills reads this and thinks twice.  I'd give ANYTHING to go back and not have done it.

Thanks again, everyone, for all your kind words, understanding, and advice!  I hope I can write again on Wednesday and give you some good news.  

Tom
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Tom,
My heart goes out to you and your family tonight
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I do understand what you've said about the open meetings, which I tend to stay away from as well.  The group I hang out with is into step study and closed.  I just feel more comfortable with this format.  Sometimes the meetings have extended way beyond the usual one hour limit.  I do on occasion attend open meetings but they are more of a social event for me.

It sounds to me that your head is in the right place and you are doing the right things in dealing with the chronic pain.  Recently, I have had to wrestle with chronic pain and the need for narcotic meds.  I had to learn the difference between abuse and dependancy.  I still let my wife have full control over picking them up at the pharmacy and dosing me properly. I'm just not ready yet to deal with the temptation on my own.

Thanks!

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I find that temptation or how I feel about the whole dependence vs. addiction issue is a shifting thing. Like J.B., I have to know who to trust and talk to, about what is going on with me. It has been crucial to understand and accept that what may have been comfortable for weeks or even months is suddenly a minefield.

I have tried to just go with the flow and take each day for what it is. If I am comfortable with my situation, great; if I am feeling uncomfortable about my meds, then I have to talk it out and put further safeguards in place. While I am ultimately responsible for not crossing the line back into an active addiction, I can and do empower people I trust to help me stay on track.

My pain specialist feels that I had a paradoxical reaction to the codeine contin last week and has switched me over to Statex morphine. I will see him later on this week, in the meantime I have a bit of withdrawal and my pain levels are out of control at times. As long as I stay away from trying to play catch-up I will be fine. If I can continue to accept that it is never going to be a situation that is under my control, I am on the right track. Having this forum definitely helps.

Dave
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I am writing this post to help people understand that opaite addiction is a disease that if goes untreated will kill the person with the disease. I am not trying to hurt anyones feelings or sound uncaring about situations in peoples lives. At times I get very upset because people do not seem to get the seriousness of this disease. This disease has to be treated like any other disease that is a killer. It progresses as far as the person allows the disease to progress. In the case of oxy Tom and others it is about to put a major cramp in a life because of a persons ignorance or refusal to use treatments that are proven to help people get their lives together and put this disease where it belongs, in remission!  There is no cure for this disease. Abstinence in cases like oxy tom is almost non existent. People with addictions as strong as oxy Tom will hardly ever make after a detox with out a relapse. I do not mean to sound negative, but facts are facts. 99.9% of opiate addicts that are addicted to drugs as serious as oxycontin never can make without some kind of maintenance therapy. If there ever was a candidate for opiate agonist therapies it is you Tom. It works for hundreds of pill addicts like you on a daily basis.
                                                                
These therapies sound unapealing for many reasons. But in your case and many other cases like yours it has stopped this disease from killing or robbing you of your life. You complained oxy Tom about having to drive a few miles to obtain your medicine. Do you want treatment for your disease? Do you want to live?(I know you do) I know people who drive for four hours round trip to receive there medicine 3x a week. There are hard ships that the feds allow just for these problems.
                                                                
These people on these programs realise that this is a life saving medicine and make these sacrifices. Would you travel a few miles to get insulin or any medicine that would help a disabling disease? Would you travel a few miles  for medicine to stop the horrible symptoms of a disease. Tom,you have reached a point in your life and chose a path where this is the only option left for you! What options do you have? Opiate agonist therapies are the only treatments that put this disease in remmission. You have to realise this and do what you have to do! People who are addicted as bad as you can die in a detox. Did you know this? If you have to go to prison or lockup, how are you going to get your oxycontin? You have only one option left.
                                                                
Methadone/LAAM is the only option left for you tom. It WILL stop all cravings and withdrawals. The prosecuter will see you still on the medicine that you got busted with and say that you definintely have not learned any lessons from your mistake and prosecute you to the full extent of the law. Tom, the way I see it if you get with a methadone/laam program, at least the man will see you with a sincere effort on your part to help your problem. If not he will put you in some undesirable program with all the hardcorp junkies who got busted for similar crimes. It may be with methadone but it will be a state program. At least now you can choose a clinic that you like.
                                                                
Tom, I know these things from experience with these procedures. I am sorry about being a little cold. If you think I am cold, wait til you here orders from a judge being shoved your way. If you do get probation, you will still have to face the problem that you have concerning treatment for your disease. Staying on oxycontin will simply keep the addiction/disease alive and you will eventually have to face the disease sooner or later! The sooner that you face the better off you will be. I wish that I would have had someone to tell me these things ten years ago. I would have been better off and little more ahead in the game! If I did not care I would not have spent 45 minutes writing this post my friend.
My Best Wishes to you Tom! Be Spiritual!
Dan...
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DAN I THINK IF WE DIDN T KNOW THE DEAL WITH OPIATES WE WOULD NOT COME TO THIS FORUM.WHY KEEP ON TOM LIKE YOU ARE, I THINK HE'S A BIG BOY!DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU BUT DON'T YOU DARE IMPLY WE DON T KNOW WHY WE ARE HERE!THE GUY WAS ADDICTED SO BAD HE HAD TO HAVE MORE DRUGS THAN THE DOCTORS WOULD GIVE . FOR THAT AMOUNT THE DOCTOR SHOULD BE ON TRIAL NOT THE SCRIPT WRITER!!!!!!!!
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Concerning ultram: definetly addicted.I've had all sorts of strange rashes,bruising very easily,and chance of seizures. It has not turned out to be what they touted as when it was introduced. Do much research b4 starting on this. Many DR.s still not aware. And it is not even a scheduled drug. Been there, trust me. May be jst right for you but...DO RESEARCH, that's fairly recent.Ask Tom, he clued me in and he is absolutely correct. If any of te DR.s on this site happen to show up one day, they may tell yu also.It's not what it's cracked up to be!!!!!
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Apparently my doctor knows what he is doing.  A few months ago, I asked for a "safe" painkiller and I mentioned Ultram.  He didn't say no but hell no!  He did prescribe Lorcet with five refills saying that even though I am a recovering addict, it is a safer drug.  I'm happy with his decision and have not had any problems while using the meds as prescribed.  Ultram has some bizarre effects on some people and is supposedly very addictive.  We are in agreement on this drug, Alex.
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I've been doing a lot of reading on methadone lately and my mind has changed considerably about the drug.  Many chronic painers say that it a God send!  The problem with Oxy Contin and the similar drugs is that you build up a tolerence very quickly which leads to abuse.  Methadone tolerence on the other hand is very slow to build.  It is also a very strong opiod that controls chronic pain when the proper dose is used.  You have said that the drug has been used for 30 years, but it's closer to 50.  My only point here is that so many of us have the wrong impression about methadone.  We only equate the drug with junkies as a way of keeping them "in line".  A little self education can be very beneficial on this one.   Thanks!
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something told me you'd like the klonopin. It's the methadone of benzos. easy, stable and smooth ...

my goal is still to get on methadone but I'm not burning my bridges before I walk into that clinic, and that's what they want me to do, that is, the one out of two clinics that will even talk to me. Dan, you said all clinics weren't created equal ... boy were you right on that one. Something tells me I won't make it to methadone until i can get it from a tony, private addiction specialist in an office that makes my yuppie ass feel safe and secret. What I've found so far in my area are clinics that are more like war zone triages for heroin users coming out of prison. Nothing wrong with that. No one needs methadone more urgently than they do. But these clinics are pieces that don't fit into my puzzle. Give me a private doctor, private diagnoses, private rx, private life. Keep the state and the feds out of it.
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I've been taking it 100 mg four times a day for seven months with no problems. I even stopped for a couple of days and only felt slightly light headed. It does appear to be addictive as my Neurologist offered Vicoden in it's place yesterday and I said no!!! Ultram kills pain better than codeine for me, elevates my mood and does not cause the constipation that codeine causes.
Besides I am allergic to the ingrediant in Tylenol it make me feel sick.

I told my Neuro that depending on what the sleep study and EEG in January I may be will to give up the Ultram but don't ever take my Klonopin away!!!!!!!!!! I'd die without it!!! I would say to my Doc if I have to stop it for some reason then I'll stop now cold turkey and see you all in the next life!!! He and my Psychiatrist both promised they would not touch my Klonopin except maybe raise it some to control break-through seizures.

I call my Klonopin a true addiction that I am willing to die for.
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hi to you and Marty. Hope all is well. It's funny, but my three disk bulges --- at least the pain from them -- has improved significantly over the last few months. This has happened before, and then just as suddenly about-faced and put me back in agony again. But for right now, my need or desire to get on methadone maintenance is purely to feed the cravings. But to satisfy them, I've got to establish with another pain doc and then ask for the referral. As I've said, I won't screw things with my main doc just to get the note for the meth doc. So it's like I've got this dreary doctor-patient game ahead of me in order to get that note the clinic wants and right now, I just don't have the time or the real desire to go through the whole stupid charade. In a way, I've got my own maintenance program going in the form of taking enough Darvon to get through the day and bring home the bacon. I've got an outrageous supply line set up for Darvon and Xanax and will probably stay with it til my company gets a piece of important software out the door in time for our IPO. This should take about three months and could mean some nice bucks for me through stock options. It's not the perfect solution. I'd rather just get a dose of methadone every morning and then go to work. But this ******* "note from my mommy" thing makes the whole thing a big time-wasting pain in the ass. Why can't I just go to a doctor and get the stuff privately? The regulations conrolling methadone stink. So for now I'm just cruising on Darvon and Xanax til I can legally get methadone from a clean, safe and confidential source. Call me picky. But what the hell.
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Lately, I've been lurking in the MGH chronic pain forum and have learned that quite a number of people have graduated to methadone.  Many were on Oxy Contin, MS Contin, Percodan etc.
Have you checked out the MGH forums?  I thought that in one of your past posts you said you had an ongoing problem with spinal pain.  Just wondering.  

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There has to be ways around this note thing. I didn't have to have a note. I just said that I have a horrible addiction to opiates and they gave me a UA and a physical and boom I am dosed. Same day no waiting. 30mg's methadone down the hatch. Tom,I sense you have many other issues here. One thing,the feds always know who are taking schedule two drugs. You still have your right to privacy. Absolutely no one can get your records unless you sign a release document. The problem with most addiction doctors that prescribe methadone is they give out way to large of quanities of methadone. Most addicts cannot keep their hands out of the cookie jar. I have thought long and hard about this. I need the supervision that the clinic provides. Anyway, every addiction doc in my area will not do the paper work to prescribe methadone. Or they are not confident enough to prescribe methadone. Whatever the reason,I still feel the need to attend my clinic and receive their counseling and supervision. I wanted to point out that all opiates appear as opiates on a UA. They do not show up as hydrocodone,oxycodone, codeine, morphine,or heroin.  A clinic has no way of knowing if your on heroin or vicodin. All morphine based opiates that are listed above show up as opiates. The only ones that show up otherwise are synthetics like propoxyphene and methadone. Think about it. Best Wishes,Happy Holidays!
Dan...
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I've visited the only two clinics in my county and Dan, my friend, I don't need to have too many more issues to decide that I'm not parking my car in either one of those areas and expect it to still be there when I get back. Not for one ******* second. These places are basically the outtake for the Orange County jail system. In a word, they're cesspools. If that's the only way I can get methadone, than methadone's gonna have to wait. Frankly, I'm disgusted that this is all I have to choose from in the year 2000. I should be able to get methadone from a clean, safe, professional environment. Call me a class snob all you like, but the choices here in Orange County, California for methadone are a joke. I downloaded a list of physicians belonging to CSAM. I'm contacting each one at their e-mail addresses and stating my case. I'll let you know what happens. I' haven't given up yet.
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It's good to hear that you are maintaining so well with the Darvon and Xanax.  I'm doing the same with my Lorcet and Xanax and am still able to function quite nicely.  For once in my life I've found a happy medium concerning drugs.  I call it control but others might say that I'm being a hypocrite.  Anyway, it's my business and I'm doing fine!  Bringing home the bacon is what counts anyway.

Tell Bobby Hi!  Marty is doing well but a little stressed out with Christmas shopping and planning.  Just a few more days of this and things will be back to normal, I hope.

Happy Holidays!  J.B.
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It happened again yesterday; my doctor switched me to morphine for both long term (MS Contin) and breakthrough pain (Statex) after my paradoxical reaction earlier this month. My heart rate
soared and my heartbeat pounded, scared the **** out of me so naturally my blood pressure also skyrocketed. This was on a mix of codeine contin and statex.

Yesterday I got a similar reaction and took the ativan that had been prescribed, it got things under control and left me a bit sleepy. Has anyone else gotten these reactions to narcotic painkillers? If so what finally worked?

Dave
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The medical field is way behind the times when it comes to addiction. They still give the average citizens that us alkies and druggies are bums laying around on skid row and shooting each other up for deals gone bad.

Television has not helped that image any either. They rarely play the movies where the high class Doctors, Lawyers, Airline piolets and other professions have theses same addition problems.

We are still viewed as psychologically ill rather than physically ill! They are finally realizing nicotine is addictive and just  over the past few years, and now alcohol.

I wonder if all the aklies should get together like the cigerette smokers and sue the manufaturers of alcohol for their addictions and costs of detox etc.(Just Kidding!)

I don't blame you for wanting a clean and reputable place for methadone distribution. There is no excuse for the medical communnity no to offer this and decent detoz centers that don'[t cost thousands of dollars just for some injections and close monitoring for blood pressure changes and the like.

It's the same scenerio here on Guam, I had to go to the psych ward with all the schizos and such to get detoxed from alcohol and the f---ing crew did not even know what a real seizure or DT's is!

The only have seen the pseudo-seizures where the schizos shake alot and bang there heads on the walls and keep getting up and walking around and then falling down again and shaking and head banging. It was a real experience there. There has got to be better.
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airedog -- bop around www.rxlist.com -- it's basically all the manufacturers PDR copy on their products, including all the side effects. I see opiates mentioned a lot in connection with increased cranial fluid pressure and face flushes. Could be something like that.

Hi barbara, good to hear from you. I'm getting some preliminary answers from some of the addiction specialists I've queried that sound encouraging. Some good things might be coming our way in the form of more doctors being allowed to treat opiate addiction with opioid drugs like buprenorphine and, hopefully, methadone. I'd love to see a day come when I can admit to my opiate addiction without shame and get one, clean, safe dose of methadone a day so I can go on with my life. Doesn't seem like a lot to ask, if you ask me.
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Hi tom, good to hear from you as well. I just cannot understand why people cannot get it through there thick skulls that some people really are in pain, need pain medication and just want to live a normal satisfying life feeling good physically and mentally like we are meant to feel.

We are still stuck under that old puritanical thinking that we must bear our crosses. That's all a bunch of balogna because life will always dish out it's problems, but why do we have to face them while suffering un-necessarily too? There is no excuse for it.

These Holly Rollers really irritate me. Some day when they get older they may get there chance to see what it's like and then their table will all of the sudden be turned 180 degrees!
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hello, i may be at the wrong site but i have taken meth every day  for ten years plus. no one knows or even suspects .i have always had full time employment and am considered a very reliable individual. when i do not take my daily dose, i can't concentrate or think clearly.ijust wanted to say it.
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Hi Barbara,
I just wanted to let you know that you posted a GREAT reply on your 12/28 post!  You said what I live and feel everyday.  WHY must I be made out to be some awful person who must take pain meds.  If they could just be in my shoes for one week I swear they would chill.  Life is to short to try and be a hero/martyr (sp).  Thank God my husband is the wonderful guy he is.  He pitch hits for me alot. Anyway, I know just where you are coming from.  That was an awesome post!
Happy New Year.
Marcie.
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